Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE) was the target of a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 1,244,606 shares, an increase of 35.8% from the December 15th total of 916,235 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 304,430 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.1 days. Approximately 6.3% of the shares of the company are short sold.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Bob Evans Farms by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,721,591 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $195,492,000 after purchasing an additional 16,931 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Bob Evans Farms by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 745,225 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $53,530,000 after purchasing an additional 13,564 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Bob Evans Farms by 405.7% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 721,350 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $55,955,000 after purchasing an additional 578,696 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Bob Evans Farms by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 541,902 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $38,923,000 after purchasing an additional 10,440 shares during the period. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its holdings in Bob Evans Farms by 70.2% in the 3rd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 372,660 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $24,983,000 after purchasing an additional 153,760 shares during the period. 77.87% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Bob Evans Farms in a report on Thursday. BidaskClub cut Bob Evans Farms from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday. CJS Securities assumed coverage on Bob Evans Farms in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Berenberg Bank cut Bob Evans Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $78.00 to $77.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Bob Evans Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.05.

Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ BOBE) opened at $77.01 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,540.00, a PE ratio of 60.16 and a beta of 0.54. Bob Evans Farms has a fifty-two week low of $47.28 and a fifty-two week high of $79.70. The company has a quick ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ:BOBE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, December 6th. The restaurant operator reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35. The company had revenue of $117.63 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.10 million. Bob Evans Farms had a return on equity of 18.55% and a net margin of 28.75%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.56 EPS.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 22nd. Investors of record on Monday, December 11th were issued a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 8th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.77%. Bob Evans Farms’s payout ratio is 106.25%.

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About Bob Evans Farms

Bob Evans Farms, Inc (Bob Evans) is a producer and distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen food items under the Bob Evans and Owens or Country Creek brand names. The Company’s food products are distributed to customers throughout the United States.

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